There’s no chance Urban Meyer will be leaving the Jacksonville Jaguars to become the head coach at USC, per a source close to Meyer.
And at the risk of breaking a long-held journalistic code of not identifying a source, the source is Meyer himself.
“There’s no chance,” Meyer said at this press conference Wednesday. “I’m here and committed to try and build an organization.”
Despite this, former NFL GM and longtime league insider Mike Lombardi tweeted Monday that Meyer “might love going back to college” and the “timing” of the Trojans firing Clay Helton after only one loss this season told him “something is brewing.”
Not according to Meyer, who suggested he’s very much into his rebuilding assignment with the Jaguars.
“The locker room is the most important thing,” Meyer said, “and I just see good players and I see good people. This is a build and we’re building.”
Meyer says he doesn’t read about rumors or even criticisms of his work anymore and is only aware of what is swirling around the media because Jacksonville VP of communications Amy Palcic informs him.
“I don’t read the narrative and I don’t read the silliness about our players,” Meyer said. “And she knows that. So she says, ‘Hey, did you hear?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, is that right?'”
So Meyer doesn’t seem too concerned about any rumor of his possible departure or critics of his work.
“I don’t know who they are,” Meyer said. “I probably got an idea. I learned about six years ago when I read something it was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read. I said, ‘I’m good, I’m done. I’ll never read again.’ “
Meyer said Placic helps in that she sends him “just the positive stuff.”
“It’s kind of small …” Meyer joked.
It should be noted that Meyer is all of one game into his Jaguars coaching tenure. And, yes, he’s 0-1. And, yes, he had always been a college coach until he accepted the Jaguars job this year.
One supposes it’s possible Meyer could pull a Nick Saban. The Alabama coach did leave the Miami Dolphins days after stating he would not be the Alabama coach.
But the idea Meyer would leave now is hard to fathom, as is the idea USC would hold a job for him until January when the NFL season ends, which would be detrimental to the school’s recruiting.
So for now Meyer is concentrating on Jaguars issues.
He needs his defense to win on 50-50 balls in the air, which didn’t happen in an opening loss to the Houston Texans.
“We got to make those plays,” the coach said.
He’s worried about eliminating penalties, which is an emphasis with the offensive line.
“I didn’t necessarily agree with them all,” Meyer said. “But no one asked my opinion of those, so it’s a penalty.”
And Meyer is focused on Jacksonville’s regular-season home opener Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
“I just want to win a darn game and give our fans something,” Meyer said. “We all have a dream and my dream is that stadium erupts. But we’ve got to do our job.”